• 03/01/2023 1:40 PM | Anonymous

    Stepping into the Women & Hi Tech presidency was a natural evolution of Maria Alvim Gaston’s service with Women & Hi Tech. “After three years as networking director, I was more aware of the full scope of our operations, needs, and unique challenges facing us post-pandemic.” With her daughter off to college and a newer role with Eli Lilly & Company’s Talent Development Academy, Maria felt she had the time to devote to the organization and the board of directors.

    Shortly after Maria assumed the presidency in June 2022, Women & Hi Tech hosted one of our most successful Leading Light Awards & Scholarship Galas to date. The organization set a record by awarding over $50,000 in scholarships, including our community-funded #InThisTogether scholarship worth over $7,000. “It was a proud moment to be on stage to award our excellent nominees and recipients,” Maria also mentioned she was grateful her employer showed up to support her volunteer efforts. “Eli Lilly & Company was our first-ever Signature Sponsor for the Leading Light Awards.”

    Another goal Maria is set to achieve in her term, is to help Women & Hi Tech to finalize the strategic plan through 2025. “We have a great team, Linda Hicks led us through the process as we work to see ourselves clearly through the eyes of our members and community. Our mission is at the core of who we are, and through this plan we will make our brand and our mission stronger.”

    To that end, Maria is passionate about trying to include all four STEM disciplines in Women & Hi Tech’s programming. “Our name might make people think we are tech-only, but we want to advance equal opportunities for all women in science, technology, engineering, and math.” Events like Celebrate Science, which Women & Hi Tech newly sponsored this year, are part of this effort.

    “As Women & Hi Tech’s first Latina president, I am also excited to see us get more involved with organizations like La Plaza to get more Latinx students aware of STEM careers and prepared to go to college.”

    Maria shared she hopes to leave behind a more diverse and representative organization. “Women & Hi Tech wants to make it easier to get involved and increase the visibility of what we have going on as an organization.” If any readers out there have feedback or ideas for Maria, you can reach out at

  • 02/24/2023 2:12 PM | Anonymous

    by Darcy Lee, VP of Strategic Growth & Partnerships, Six Feet Up, and Women & Hi Tech Board Member Active Emeritus

    In 2023, mathematicians are in increasing demand in a variety of fields, including energy and healthcare. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2021 and 2031 the job market for mathematicians is expected to grow by a whopping 31 percent, much faster than average. Additionally, the median annual wage for mathematicians in 2021 was $108,100.

    The once-narrow career field that included finance and education has broadened drastically to include mathematics careers in software engineering, data science, robotics, patent law, biotechnology, energy, climate study, national security, astronomy, space exploration, and more.

    Much of this expansion in career opportunities for mathematicians is due to the growing importance of model designs, analysis of complex systems, and Big Data. Companies want to make data-driven decisions, meaning they must rely on problem solvers with deep analytical skills to answer hard questions. Enter mathematicians, who figure out the right questions to ask, make sense of advanced algorithms and complex systems, and bring their problem-solving expertise to the table to provide clarity and solutions to real-world problems.

    Recently, we had the pleasure of interviewing a professional mathematician, Jennifer Whaley, Principal Systems Engineer at SAS.

    The Early Years

    Jennifer’s interest in math began in childhood. As a young girl she played school with her cousin. “She was two years older than me and always wanted to be the teacher, so I was always the student,” she noted. For both, math was their favorite subject. Spoiler alert: her cousin became a high school math teacher, and Jennifer found a career as an applied mathematician.

    Around 5th or 6th grade, Jennifer’s interest in math became a love of math. She loved that it was rules oriented and fact based; there was a concreteness to mathematics, and she was attracted to the use of logic to solve problems. It was also during middle school when some of Jennifer’s key personality traits began to shine – competition and responsibility. Her math class had a weeklong math competition each spring.  She learned that the top two performers would grade the competition and, you guessed it – she wanted to do that. I enjoyed the responsibility of being in the top two.”

    The College Years

    In her senior year of high school, Jennifer was recruited to major in Mathematics at Meredith College, a liberal arts college and one of the largest independent women’s colleges in the U.S. She liked the small student-teacher ratio where professors had an open-door policy. Students at Meredith were encouraged, supported, and challenged to find where they fit in, and Jennifer really leaned into this. For example, Jennifer joined the math club, which brought in former students to present on a variety of topics to help give students insights into how their mathematics degrees proved valuable in a variety of fields (e.g., federal aviation controller).

    Like many, Jennifer’s college path was not exactly linear. She began at Meredith as a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science. Although she enjoyed programming, she remembers sitting in the lab thinking, “I’m more interested in real life applications and problem solving that helps people.” So, Whaley dropped the Computer Science major and eventually picked Economics up as a double major.

    In the 1980s, there were no clear degree or career paths for data analysts and data scientists, but that’s essentially what Whaley wanted to do. She was able to participate in an internship program that combined these skillsets. There she applied her desire to use logic and problem solving alongside her math chops to solve real world problems. She worked for two semesters with a local electric utility focused on load forecasting. She got hands-on experience in data-step programming with SAS, figuring out relationships and using algorithms to predict reoccurrence. Soon after, Whaley graduated from Meredith College with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Economics.


    The stories within data fascinate Jennifer, so after her college internship she knew she wanted to invest her career in the energy space in North Carolina. From 1988 to 2011, she worked in a variety of roles including analyst, programmer, economist, and systems engineer. In each role, her focus was energy and/or sustainability.

    “I gained valuable skills and insights from all the roles I had before coming here to SAS in 2011, but even during college I knew I wanted to work at SAS,” said Whaley. SAS is a North Carolina-based organization that builds analytics solutions to transform data into intelligence. From 2011 to 2015, Jennifer worked in forecasting and advanced analytics as a Systems Engineer at SAS and was then promoted to Sr. Systems Engineer in 2015. In 2021, she moved into her current role as Principal Systems Engineer, where she now advises energy clients on emerging topics pertaining to load forecasting, particularly the challenges incorporating DERs and improving renewable forecasts.

    In addition to her role at SAS, Jennifer is also a member of Women in Clean Energy (WICE), speaks at industry conferences, colleges and universities (including the Indiana University Analytics Department), and mentors others, including those who participate in the SAS Hackathon.

    Advice for young women who want to pursue Mathematics degrees and careers:

         College students:

    • Participate in internships. Not only do they help you better focus in on where and how you want to work in your career, they teach you invaluable business and soft skills such as how to participate in meetings, how to send emails, etc.
    • Take statistics and public speaking courses. The ability to deliver technical information at the right level is incredibly important.

    • Be prepared when you go into meetings. Do your research prior and always be prepared to ask a few questions, and to share your thoughts (especially if you are an introvert and this is out of your comfort zone).
    • At various points in your career, stop and re-evaluate. Make sure you’re focused on the right thing, and that what you’re currently doing is what you actually want to be doing.
    • Have mentors, both within your organization and outside your organization. For women, it’s also especially important to ensure some of your mentors are female.
    • “Be like silly putty and stretch.” Though early in your career you may go deeply into only a few areas, make sure you’re always growing. Knowing a good deal of things in many areas is key to leadership roles, especially those in consulting.

    Careers in mathematics can seem abstract, just like some math itself. But for those who are passionate and in alignment with their goals, it is increasingly possible to build a math-focused career. Math is the foundation of many other STEM fields and learning which industries interest you is a great way to make your passion for math and your career goals add up.

    For those in Indiana, Women & Hi Tech provides opportunities to network with other women and organizations across STEM professions and industries. So, if you’re interested in learning more, including opportunities for internships and where or how to apply a degree in mathematics, connect with us!

    Connect with Jennifer:


    SAS Profile

  • 02/02/2023 9:18 PM | Anonymous

    Last year, Indiana Oil and Gas Association (INOGA) gave $18,000 in scholarship monies to Indiana High School and College Students. This year's application deadline is April 1! 

    The requirements for the scholarship(s) are:

    • Be a resident of Indiana and attending any accredited college; or be a non-Indiana resident attending an Indiana accredited college.
    • Be a graduating high school senior; or a HS Transcript showing completion through home schooling; or currently enrolled in a post-secondary education program
    • Be attending college in the coming fall.
    • Plan to pursue a career in the oil and gas industry.
    • Have a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
    • Be pursuing a bachelor's degree, with preference given for Earth Sciences, Petroleum Engineering, Chemical Engineering or Geology majors.
    • Have a financial need determined by the scholarship committee.
    • Submit a short essay which describes the applicant’s interest in the oil and gas industry and which career path the applicant is planning to pursue

    Learn more about the scholarship history and 2022's recipients here.

    Download the application form here. 

    If you have any questions, please email or call 812-838-8135.

  • 01/06/2023 5:09 PM | Anonymous

    2023-2024 Board Committee Callouts

    Join a committee and help Women & Hi Tech advance our mission!

    The following committees are seeking members for a minimum one-year term:

    • Communications Committee

    • Membership Engagement Committee

    • Executive Women’s Forum Committee

    • Fort Wayne Women & Hi Tech Committee

    Whatever strengths and talents you bring to the table, joining a committee to support Women & Hi Tech will benefit your professional development by growing your marketable skillset, expanding your professional network, and gaining you experience contributing to a well-established Indiana nonprofit.

    See below for information about each of these opportunities and next steps to learn more about or apply for a role! We are so grateful for your interest and can't wait to hear from you.

    Communications Committee

    Email Lead

    • Seeking 1 volunteer to support Women & Hi Tech’s email communication strategy. This includes helping with scheduling email sends (through Salesforce Marketing Cloud) as well as list segmentation and updating. You will also get to put content into emails and share thoughts about email layout and design. This is a great opportunity to grow your skill set with new digital marketing tools and experiences. 

    • Time Commitment: 5-8 hours per month, which includes one monthly committee meeting. You will have at least one week advance notice of all tasks that need to be completed.

    • Qualifications: Experience with Salesforce Marketing Cloud or other email automation platforms is a plus but not required. Need reliable internet connection and computer. 

    • Contact: Amber Peckham,

    Social Media Lead

    • Seeking 1 volunteer to support Women & Hi Tech’s social media strategy. This includes helping with writing and scheduling social media posts, as well as engaging with our followers and community through our social profiles. 

    • Time Commitment: 5-8 hours per month, which includes one monthly committee meeting and checking social media on a regular schedule. 

    • Qualifications: Experience with Hootsuite and social media best practices is desired, in addition to a strong understanding of Women & Hi Tech’s values. Need reliable internet connection and computer. 

    • Contact: Amber Peckham,

    Membership Engagement Committee

    Event Planner Lead

    • Seeking 1 volunteer to help lead the planning and implementation of 1 or 2 Women & Hi Tech events.

    • Time Commitment: 3-5 hours per month to attend a virtual monthly meeting and independently execute on planning tasks plus provide day-of event assistance for at least the events you plan.

    • Qualifications: Candidates should be creative, willing to share ideas, and be comfortable working in a team environment. Planning experience is a plus!

    • Contact: Sahara Williams,

    STEM Circle Leads

    • Seeking volunteers interested in helping Women & Hi Tech develop programing targeted to the specific area of STEM in which you work – You would work with your industry trade association or other Women & Hi Tech members who are in your field of practice to develop programing important to your industry

    • Time Commitment: 3-5 hours per month to attend a virtual monthly meeting and independently execute on 1-3 small group activities

    • Qualifications: Ideal candidates are already engaged in their field of practice, perhaps with a trade association and can serve as a liaison between the two organizations to further joint interests. Candidates should be creative, willing to share ideas, and be comfortable working in a team environment. Planning experience is a plus!

    • Contact: Sahara Williams,

    Executive Women’s Forum Committee

    • Seeking 1-2 volunteers to support Women & Hi Tech’s planning and execution of our quarterly Executive Women’s Forums. This includes partnering with the EWF Director to recruit and brief panelists for events, help craft bios of speakers for events, promote into social media and greet speakers and guests the day of events. 

    • Time Commitment: 2-4 hours per month, which includes one monthly committee meeting. You will have at least one week advance notice of all tasks that need to be completed.

    • Qualifications: Experience with event planning, speaker solicitation and preparation, and Zoom management are desired. 

    • Contact: Linda Calvin,

    Fort Wayne Women & Hi Tech Committee

    • Seeking 7-10 volunteers to serve on the inaugural Women & Hi Tech: Fort Wayne committee. You'll help to support women in STEM fields in the Fort Wayne area by planning and executing in-person events (e.g., Executive Women's Forums,  Networking Events and K-12 volunteer opportunities). Serving on this committee will give you the opportunity to connect with other women in STEM and raise awareness of Women & Hi Tech with local STEM professionals and organizations. 

    • Time Commitment: 3-10 hours per month to attend virtual committee meetings and event planning meetings, planning and execution of events, networking with the community, and various other responsibilities. Roles and associated time commitments vary as does activity levels month-to-month.

    • Qualifications: Ideal candidates have the time to commit and are passionate about Women & Hi Tech's mission. Must be (or become) a member of Women & Hi Tech.

    • Contact: Hannah Stork,

  • 01/06/2023 4:30 PM | Anonymous

    Women & Hi Tech is seeking candidates to fill a new vacancy in its Board of Directors. This person will serve as our new Signature Event Director, replacing and expanding on the previous role of Leading Light Awards Director. 

    We are a volunteer, working board, committed to changing the landscape of women represented in STEM to be equally inclusive to all. We are looking for a member who is not only passionate about our mission, but is also willing to commit their time and resources to help us achieve that mission.

    We’d also like to emphasize that this position is open to individuals of all genders. The applicant does not need to be located in Indianapolis, but must have the ability to travel to Indianapolis for board meetings, events, and other meetings as necessary.

    Learn more about this exciting new role and its responsibilities by clicking here.

    Review the Board Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest policy

    To apply, complete this online form by Monday, January 30th, 2023

    Please share this information with your networks and help us find the next great addition to our board of directors!

  • 10/07/2022 10:15 AM | Anonymous

    Women & Hi Tech Announces
    Recipients of Leading Light Awards, Scholarships and Grants

    On October 6, 2022, Women & Hi Tech was privileged to recognize over 80 incredible scholarship and award nominees at our Leading Light Awards and Scholarship Gala. Over 550 attendees gathered at the Indiana Roof Ballroom to celebrate these diverse women of excellence and male allies in Indiana’s STEM community. During the program emceed by Jennie Lopez, head of Global Recruiting and Talent Acquisition for Eli Lilly & Company, Women & Hi Tech announced over $50,000 in scholarships and grants to diverse women and girls at all stages of their STEM careers, and recognized 10 Leading Light Award recipients.

    “In order to continue our mission, and grow our impact in Indiana’s STEM communities, we must bring educators, leaders, and all STEM professionals together with the future in mind,” said Women & Hi Tech President Maria Alvim Gaston during the event. “Women & Hi Tech firmly believes that together, we will inspire and encourage more elementary, middle school and high school girls by connecting with them through mentoring, modeling and demonstrating all the possibilities for them in the world of STEM.”

    Women and Hi Tech would like to express our gratitude to all of our annual sponsors as well as our Leading Light Awards, Scholarship and Grant Sponsors. We thank our Comet Sponsor and the Leading Light Awards Signature Sponsor Eli Lilly & Co. All our community partners provide incredible continued support of Women & Hi Tech’s mission and made our gala possible. This event also would not have succeeded without the work of our Leading Light Awards Director Rebecca Bormann and the 2022 Leading Light Awards Committee: Darcy Lee, Lori Boyer, Amber Peckham, Maria Alvim Gaston, Hannah Stork, Ben Phillips, Stephanie Jeffers, Linda Hicks, Karen Hyman, Heidi Melton, and Jodie Daugherty

    We are especially honored to share the announcement of our 27 award and scholarship recipients.

    Mentor Me! Award Recipient

    Wendy Stein, Senior Vice President, Site Head Indianapolis, General Manager Roche Diagnostics Operations, Roche Diagnostics

    Leadership Award Recipient

    Danielle Shockey, Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts of Central Indiana

    Risk Taker Award Recipient

    Brei Cecil-Satchwell, Director of Foundation Operations, Techpoint Foundation for Youth

    Rising Star Award Recipient

    Michelle Sharon, Manager, Roche Support Network Customer Support Center - Systems & Compliance, Roche Diagnostics

    You Inspire Us! Award Recipient

    Akilah Darden, President, The Darden Group LLC

    Outstanding Educator in STEM Award Recipient

    Genevieve McLeish Petty, Computer Science Teacher, Cold Spring School

    Outstanding Achievement in STEM Award Recipient

    E. ZeNai Brooks, Controller, Corporate Responsibility and Foundation, Cummins
    Chief Strategy Officer, Mind Your Business Accounting and Consulting
    First Lady, New Liberty Missionary Baptist Church

    OperationALL Male Ally Award

    Ron Frankenfield, CEO, Bell Techlogix

    Equity and Inclusion Champion Award

    Sonal Sheth Zawahri, Founder/CEO, Tru You

    Change the Landscape Award

    Christine Krull, Program Director, Roche

    $5,000 Women & Hi Tech Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient

    Sara Lake, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Manchester University

    $5,000 Women & Hi Tech Graduate Scholarship Recipient

    Kelly Orze, Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, Franklin College

    $5,000 Women & Hi Tech High School Senior Scholarship Recipient

    Jazlyn Collyear, Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, Indiana Institute of Technology

    $5,000 Women & Hi Tech Rare Nickel Scholarship Recipient

    Lovette Coston, Doctor of Business Administration in Information Services, Indiana Wesleyan University

    $5,000 Women & Hi Tech Professional Development Grant Recipient

    Dinah Allen, Creator & Owner, MuffySkates

    $3,000 Barnes & Thornburg LLP Corporate or Patent Law Scholarship

    Anusuya Das, Ph.D., Juris Doctor, Indiana University McKinney School of Law

    $2,500 Bell Techlogix Scholarship Recipient

    Zoe Barnsfather, Bachelor of Science in Biology - Integrative and Organismal Biology, Indiana University

    $2,500 SIM Indy Undergraduate Leading the Future Scholarship Recipient

    Evie Iles, Bachelor of Science in New Media and Informatics–Game Development/UI and UX Design, IUPUI

    $2,500 SIM Indy Graduate Leading the Future Scholarship Recipient

    Michiko Jackson, Master of Science in Information and Communication Sciences, Ball State University

    $2,500 Ivy Tech Community College Scholarship Recipient

    Corissa McClammer, Associate of Science in Biotechnology, Ivy Tech Community College

    One-Year Startup Ladies Membership Grant Recipient

    LaJoi Shelton Robinson, Software Architect Analyst, Accenture

    $1,000 Professional Management Enterprises Scholarship Recipient

    Odessa Lyon, Bachelor of Science in Biology, Indiana University

    $1,000 Professional Management Enterprises Scholarship Recipient

    Rebecca Boyd, Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Purdue University

    $2,500 Central Indiana ISACA Scholarship Recipient

    Ella Virt, Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, Purdue University

    $3,000 Sallie Mae Scholarship Recipient

    Amerti Guta, Cellular and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, DePauw University

    $3,000 Jo Basey Spirit Scholarship Recipient

    Rashi Tyagi, Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, IUPUI

    $6,535 #InThisTogether Scholarship Recipient

    Jessica Djessa, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Hanover College

  • 08/01/2022 9:40 AM | Anonymous

    Women & Hi Tech Welcomes First Latina President

    4 new board members assume roles for 2022-2023

    [INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA August 2022] – Women & Hi Tech is happy to announce the new Board of Directors for 2022-2023. This includes the organization’s first Latina president, Dr. Maria Alvim Gaston. Maria is a scientist by training with an educational background across organic, medicinal, and computational chemistries. In her 20+ year professional career in the biopharmaceutical industry she has made impactful contributions in computational chemistry, research IT, discovery operations, open innovation, and talent acquisition.

    “I am proud to be the very first Latina to lead the Women and Hi Tech organization. I am eager to grow our impact in Indiana’s STEM communities by bringing all STEM professionals together to support K-12 student accomplishments and connect students with STEM career opportunities.”

    Maria is enthusiastic about creating an environment that values diversity, equity and inclusion. She loves to coach and mentor students and early career professionals to help individuals achieve their best throughout their career.

    “We are often asked how we can get more women into STEM degree programs and occupations,” she said. “Families, schools, and communities can create an environment of encouragement that can disrupt negative stereotypes about women’s capacity in these demanding fields. By supporting the development of girls’ confidence in their ability to learn math and science, our board helps motivate interest in these fields. Women’s educational progress should be celebrated, yet more work is needed to ensure that women and girls have full access to educational and employment opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. And here in Indiana, Women & Hi Tech is committed to making these STEM fields more welcoming for women and giving women support they need to thrive in these careers.”

    The existing Board is also pleased to welcome two new Board Directors to the 2022-2023 term. Shanniese Rice, Manager, IT Business Solutions: Product Line Specialty at Community Health Network, will serve as the organization’s new Secretary.

    Tiffany Trusty, Associate Director of Product Management for Digital Health at Eli Lilly, will serve as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

    Existing board member Joy Neely, Senior Vice President of Sales, CareMetx, has elevated to the organization’s President-Elect role. See the current full board of directors at

  • 06/22/2022 10:24 AM | Anonymous

    by member Glenn Keller

    I’m having a conversation with my cousin. He’s a trustee for a local university and they're trying to start up an engineering program. It’s a liberal arts school with an emphasis on the arts, especially music. He waits for me to stop laughing and reminds me they have excellent chemistry and physics programs. I concede the point and admit he may be onto something.

    But where to find students? He is not going to compete with Rose-Hulman or Purdue, is he? He assures me that is not the idea. Besides, it's a religious affiliated school with a mission. They just want to nudge some of their current base into STEM.

    We talk about STEAM, and I suggest that some of his future engineering students are probably studying cello and really don't know what in the world they are going to do with it. That can happen when you make a career path decision at 17 years old. They may even feel trapped with student debt and would welcome some options. Options are good. People that feel like they have options in finances, relationships and yes, in careers, are happier and more resilient. (And by the way, I didn't single out cellists on purpose, at least not consciously. More on that later.)

    As my cousin and I spoke, I related the tale of a Computer Science professor who handed me an option. I was a theatre major, who could have probably found work but not enough to make a decent living. She encouraged me to make it my hobby and to go to graduate school for Computer Science.

    "I can do that?”

    "Of course, you can," she assured me, "and you're good at it.”

    I didn't realize it was an option.

    One of the reasons I was doing so well in that beginning comp sci class is that I worked really hard at it. I figured I might as well since I spent so much time in the lab. In fact, one of the lab assistants, a senior computer science major pointed out that "no one spends this much time in the computer lab.”

    "I'm trying to do really well." I tried to sound convincing.

    "Uh-huh." She was definitely on to me.

    As it turned out, she didn't mind having me around. Oh, and I forgot to mention, besides being a computer science major, she was a cellist.

    My cousin and I parted ways with him thinking about recruiting a few of their music majors into the new program.

    I wonder how many people that are out there need a career option and don't realize it's staring them in the face. Music skills translate readily to mathematics and coding. Some of the technical aspects of theatre are not a whole lot different than designing and administering networks. So, the next time you attend a career fair, instead of just burying yourself with the informatics and comp sci people, try buttonholing a few music or theatre students. Because face it: you need options as well. Part of the mission of Women & Hi Tech is to help supply and drive awareness of those options. If you are seeking advice for a career change, new talent for your company, or simply a support system, I strongly encourage you to get involved with Women & Hi Tech!

  • 06/22/2022 10:20 AM | Anonymous

    On May 5, we were so excited to feature HR Guru Kristen Lampkin as the presenter in a Virtual Executive Women’s Forum. Let’s recap some of the tips we walked away with to Unleash the Power of LinkedIn!

    Tip 1: Post From Your Core Values.

    Identify your core values to make sure you are developing a personal brand that aligns with who you actually are. It's very jarring to meeting a person in real-life who is nothing like their presence online!

    Tip 2: Cover Your Basics

    Make sure your “About Me” section on LinkedIn is written in the first person. In your work history, add connections between your work experience and what you have actually done in those roles. The same goes for skills—these are a great way to expand your network and build your brand, plus show up in searches.

    Tip 3: Introduce Yourself!

    It is okay to use LinkedIn to connect with people you have never met before in real-life. In fact, LinkedIn will even recommend people you should connect with. You can also attend LinkedIn Events to network with people who share your interests, passions, and skills. This is like attending a free conference via LinkedIn.

    These are just a small portion of the amazing insights Kristen shared. If you have ever been curious about some of LinkedIn’s features, wondered how to use this platform to grow your career, or are curious to know if your profile is making use of all the best practices, watch the full video of this session on our YouTube channel!

  • 06/22/2022 10:15 AM | Anonymous

    In honor of Pride Month in June, we wanted to share the stories of some female LGBTQ+ innovators who made and are making history in STEM fields.


    ️‍ Sally Ride

    Sally Ride was an American astronaut and physicist, the first American woman in space and the third woman in space overall. She was also the earliest space traveler to be recognized as LGBTQ+. After retiring as an astronaut she became an educator at the University of California to inspire more women to enter science and math fields. As part of this initiative, she and her partner founded MoonKam, which allowed middle school students to take photos from the International Space Station. Ride also wrote several children’s books to nurture young people’s interest in science. Learn more about Sally Ride.

    ️‍ Polly Arnold

    Polly Arnold is a Professor of Chemistry at UC Berkeley and the Chemical Sciences Division Director at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her work focuses on the reactions of rare earths and actinides, to both help exploit these elements for quantum mechanics and guide better stewardship of nuclear waste. In 2012, Arnold was awarded the Rosalind Franklin Prize for her achievements as a female scientist. She used the prize money to produce a documentary film, “A Chemical Imbalance,” about the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields and particularly the sciences. Learn more about Polly Arnold.


    ️‍ Mary Gray

    Mary L. Gray is Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and maintains a faculty position at IU Luddy School of Informatics in addition to serving as a Faculty Associate at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Dr. Gray is an anthropologist by training with a PhD in Communication, focusing her work on how everyday use of technology transforms our labor, rights, and identities. Her books “In Your Face” and “Out In The Country” focus on how queer youth in rural Appalachia use media and technology to define identity and community. Learn more about Mary L. Gray.

    ️‍ Ann Mei Chang

    Ann Mei Chang is a technology expert, global development advocate, author, and public speaker. Today, she is the CEO of Candid, a non-profit that provides data about the movement of money in the social sector. She spent 20 years working as an executive and leader at tech startups and companies including Apple, Intuit, and Google. From there she migrated to the public sector, serving as the Chief Innovation Officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Mercy Corps, and Pete for America, as well as the first Executive Director of the US Global Development Lab. She has dedicated her career to helping tech companies innovate toward more inclusion and social good. Learn more about Ann Mei Chang.


    ️‍ Lynn Conway

    Lynn Conway is a famed computer engineer. For many decades, Conway’s achievements went uncelebrated as she faced stigmatization and pressure to conduct her career in “stealth mode” as a transgender woman. She was fired by IBM in 1968 for affirming her gender identity, though the company did not stop leveraging her innovations. Conway started her career over again as a programmer and within a decade was again pioneering the next wave of innovation in VSLI microchip design. She has used her prestige and courage to advance transgender inclusion and break down stigmas. Learn more about Lynn Conway.

    ️‍ Elena Rodriguez-Falcon

    Elena Rodriguez-Falcon is a mechanical engineer with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and industrial management. To complete her master’s, she moved from her native Mexico to the United Kingdom where she later became a professor and Director of Women in Engineering at the University of Sheffield. Today she is President and CEO of the New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering, as well as principal fellow at the Higher Education Academy and fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. She is an influential voice of advocacy in the LGBTQ+ community, especially challenging the heteronormativity which is prevalent in engineering. Learn more about Elena Rodriguez-Falcon.


    ️‍ Emily Riehl

    Emily Riehl is an associate professor of mathematics at Johns Hopkins University. She has done deep and foundational work in category theory and homotopy theory, both studies in the way different mathematical or geometric objects relate to one another. In 2022 she was named a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, among other honors and awards throughout her career. Riehl is a host of the n-Category Café blog on subjects related to category theory in mathematics, physics, and philosophy. She is also a founding board member of the LGBTQ+ mathematical association Spectra. Learn more about Emily Riehl.

    ️‍ Antonia J. Jones

    Antonia J. Jones lost the use of her legs to polio at age 10 but overcame that barrier to achieve groundbreaking innovation in mathematics and computer science. Dr. Jones started her career as an expert in number theory, gradually becoming more interested in computer science during the 1970s. During her life she published more than 70 papers and books on topics including game theory, neural learning, and artificial intelligence. Her most renowned innovation was the creation of the Gamma Test (aka Near Neighbor Test), which is still used today to simplify and streamline the construction of data models and neural networks. Learn more about Antonia J. Jones.

    This list represents just a small number of the LGBTQ individuals who have transformed STEM fields. Icons such as Alan Turing, Tim Cook, Jack Andraka, Adam Frew, and Adam Hart are just some of the male allies you should consider looking up!

    Who do you think we should feature for LGBTQ+ STEM day on November 18? If you would be interested in sharing your own story, let us know!

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